to understand how this works. in addition, i have watched these debt limit fights all these years, as anyone who had been in my job would do, and finally, there is a lot of public information if you want to dig around on the treasury website and the bureau of the public debt website. it helped to guide our study, but frankly, anybody who was diligent, could've done most of this out. host: were you the guy that paid the bills? guest: in my day, we did not have anything like this severe of a confrontation. if i was a policy official, presidentially appointed, and confirmed by the senate, and i had responsibility for deciding how much debt to issue. i also had responsibility for banking policy, economic policy broadly, and those sorts of things. i had a broad job, and one piece of it was the federal debt.